68w, 3dDoctor Whooves
Sweet Apple Acres was as quiet as ever, at least until the two ponies trotted up to the barn and where greeted with the shouts of ‘Cutie Mark Crusaders Stunt Ponies!’, then where bombarded by the bodies of three fillies. Derpy was hit by Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle, while The Doctor caught Scootaloo in his fore-hooves.
“Again girls?” Derpy asked, “I thought stunt pony was last week.”
Apple Bloom laughed and jumped off the grey pegasus’ back, “Nope, last week was circus ponies.” The filly turned her head to her flanks, then frowned at the still blank spot.
Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo hit the ground next, then the pegasus filly looked up, “Hey! Where’s my scooter?” she asked, just as the toy fell off the roof and nearly hit The Doctor in the head.
The time colt jumped, standing on his hind legs as he covered his head with his hooves, “I think we should head inside... I’d rather you girls not try for ‘Cutie Mark Crusaders Nurses’.” Apple Bloom lead the group into the kitchen, then reached into the fridge and pulled out a pitcher of apple juice with her mouth. “Anyway,” The Doctor continued and turned to Derpy, “on the way here you where telling me about somepony named Zecora.”
“Oh well,” Derpy took a sip of her freshly poured juice, “I only know a little bit about her. Mostly that she makes herbal remedies for some of the ponies in town. Apple Bloom could tell you more, she was the first one in Ponyville to trust her.”
The farm filly poured the last glass of juice and then began to tell The Doctor about the first time she met Zecora, about Applejack and her friends running through a field of Poison Joke, about when she got the Cutiepox, and even about last Nightmare Night when Princess Luna joined in the festival. As she finished, The Doctor’s eyes brightened as he drained his glass.
“Apple Bloom, you’re brilliant!” the time colt said as he ran out the kitchen door, leaving his companions in the dust.
The three fillies looked at each other in confusion, but Derpy understood when her strange friends meant. Zecora knew a lot of strange magic from where ever she came from, and maybe she had some sort of herb or medicine or something that could help The Doctor fix the TARDIS.
“A visitor? Or client still...” Zecora said, “You must be from Ponyville. I greet you with a humble smile, come and stay with me a while.”
“Well, that’s very nice thank you.” he stuck his hoof out to shake, “I’m The Doctor.”
The zebra shook her guest’s hoof and smiled warmly, “A pleasure sir, of this I know. Of my soup we shall share a bowl.” She pushed through a wall of loose vines to open a small door, leading the two to a small clearing with a hut in the middle.
“It’s beautiful here,” The Doctor commented, sitting on a large log near a cauldron of bubbling stew, “I’m guessing you’re a shaman?”
“Intelligent, and very correct. But something like this, I would expect.” Zecora ladled some of the soup into a small brown bowl for her guest, “Because, of course, it’s not every day, that a Time Lord will come your way.”
The Doctor nearly spit out the bit of stew in his mouth, his eyes now on the smiling face of his hostess, “H...How did you?”
“My people, you see, had signs that could tell, whether ponies where good or came from Hell.” Zecora’s rhyme never missed a beat as she chewed on a slice of carrot, “A legend was passed, from my sister to me, of a time when strange ponies came past the sea. One had a cutie mark of sands in a glass, it moves every day as the time of day pass. I noticed this mark when you walked through the trees, which is how I knew you would be friendly to me.”
The Doctor looked to his flank and noticed that his hourglass cutie mark had turned sideways, signaling that it was noon. He had noticed the strange behavior of his cutie mark a few days ago, when it started to spin as he tried to fix the TARDIS. “So, you probably know why I came here too.”
Zecora nodded, but her smile was soon replaced by a frown, “I do not have an herb to help, but information that I must tell.”
“Is it that I’m going to die?” The Doctor asked, “Because I’ve been through that before and I’m still here... obviously.”
“No, nothing to that extreme, but it is important, of that you will see.” The zebra closed her eyes and took a long bamboo stick from behind her log seat, placing one end on the ground she flipped in the air and balanced her head on the other end. She crossed her fore-hooves then began to speak, “Many trials you must see, before returning home for thee,” A deep voice spoke through Zecora’s lips, but didn’t phase The Doctor as he had seen this happen before many times, “One of purple, one of grey, one of blue is all I’ll say. To pass these trials you must, or to return home you shall only lust. But I warn you, son of Galliefray, terror shall come thy way. For the trial saved for last is a trial from the past, for any skill that you may lack will be shown in the trial of black. And for this many will cry, and and this planet may die. You have been warned oh wise Time Lord, now return to your search forlorn.” With that, Zecora opened her eyes and lost her balance, waving her hooves to try and keep from falling flat on her back as she usually did when knocked out of meditation.
The Doctor just stood there in silence, breathing slowly as he tried to brush off what the strange voice that used the zebra told him. “Equestria could be destroyed... Another planet, so many creatures...” The time colt opened his eyes, a look of fear and pain radiated from them as he remembered how his home, Galliefray, had died... And how he had killed it. He shivered in the warm sun, as if the very depths of his soul had been chilled by his thoughts.
“Doctor, what’s Galliefray?” Derpy’s voice broke the silence surrounding the time colt and he turned. Behind hi where his assistant, Apple Bloom, and a new face that he hadn’t seen in his time in Ponyville. The brown pegasus with sandy hair walked closer to the group, a soft, sad smile on her face.
“It’s The Doctor’s home planet,” The Keeper answered, “the planet of the Time Colts and Mares.” She moved her cape, reveling an hourglass cutie mark.
The Doctor looked up at her, she seemed familiar but he knew she couldn’t be a Time Lady. “Who are you?” he asked. The Keeper sat down next to him and began to tell him how she had found the illusive Doctor.
Derpy Hooves (her informant said that she would change her name to Ditzy after meeting The Doctor) lived in a two story home close to post office of Ponyville. The Keeper couldn’t get much out of her informant about the grey pegasus, other then a love of muffins and her curer as a delivery mare, but from the talk around town Derpy was the first to meet the strange colt that lived in a blue box near the forest. The time mare slowly opened the front door, entering the house as quiet as a mouse. As she trotted into the kitchen, The Keeper couldn’t help but feel a pair of small eyes on her. Inhaling deep, she pulled a small, silver cylinder out of her vest with her teeth and aimed it at the outline of a filly.
Little Dinky had come home from school early, since Miss Cherilee hadn’t come in and the substitute didn’t have enough planned work to keep the room full of foals occupied. The little filly was visibly shaking, but stood her ground, aiming her horn at the intruder. “W...who are you?” Dinky asked, “Where’s my momma?”
The Keeper lowered her weapon, placing it back in her vest as she kneeled at her front legs only and looked the brave pony in the eye. Unlike her mother, Dinky’s eyes never crossed or swirled. “You’re mom’s with a friend sweetie,” the time mare answered, “a better question would be about your father...” She paused as she saw tears well up in the foals eyes, but it was too late to put up that can of worms. With out thinking, The Keeper pulled Dinky close and hugged her, “I’m sorry... I’m very, very sorry...” And for some reason, Dinky Hooves felt like every thing would be ok... Just like she did when her mother held her close.
The Doctor looked into the strange pegasus’ eyes, his thoughts interrupted by Dinky telling her mother it was ok and that she was a good mom. “You never answered my question,” The Doctor’s eyes narrowed, “who are you? I know you arn’t a Time Lord, they’re all dead except for me. So who are you... Really?”
By this time, Zecora had entered her hut to recover from her possession just moments before. Apple Bloom and Dinky began to play, and Derpy moved closer to the fillies to keep them in the clearing. But the farm filly’s mind was focused on The Doctor and The Keeper, the brown pegasus had told her who she was and it seemed unreal. She couldn’t understand why the time mare told her in the first place, but it scared her to think that...
A rustling in the bush behind her made Apple Bloom jump, then a gloved hoof ripped through the leaves and nearly hit Dinky.The grey unicorn raced to her mother and cried, “She’s here! She’s here!” fear obvious in the foal’s teary eyes. “Miss Keeper! Help!”
With that, the time mare jumped from the log and pulled the cylinder from her vest again. The pegasus’ mouth closed around the trigger mechanism and blasted the bullet from it’s casing, rocketing out of the barrel and flying through the air towards the Mysterious Mare-Do-Well. The masked pony just stood there as the bullet wized over her head by a centimeter, then she glared at her would be assassin.
Just as The Doctor was about to yell for the group to run, he head the sound of something the size of a medium bolder zoom past them. The group watched as a dark purple cape blew in the breeze, followed by a gloved hoof adjusting a light purple hat. There, in the clearing, stood two masked ponies, but only one would be left standing.